H-PT Approves CTE Authorization for Scientific Credit | News, Sports, Jobs


HOUGHTON — Students at Houghton High School will be able to take a vocational and technical education course to earn their third-year science credit.

The Houghton-Portage Township School Board voted unanimously to approve the change, which is allowed by Michigan’s merit program. They follow other local districts such as Hancock and Dollar Bay.

Houghton High School Principal Tiffany Scullion estimated the move would initially affect around half a dozen students.

“If you’re headed for a more science-based, college-focused path, then this wouldn’t be a recommended thing for you until your third science credit,” she says. “But for many students taking their CTE courses, it’s a more applicable way to get their science credit.”

The high school science department supported the decision. Administrator Brad Baltensperger supported him on that basis, but said he was concerned about decisions that could derail future decision-making for students.

“I think we’re talking about a small group of people for whom applied science makes more sense,” he said. “So I’m okay with that. But we know a lot of kids who don’t go into science at all, but have four years of science because the reasoning skills, the analytical skills that you develop, apply to all kinds of areas.

Superintendent Anders Hill said students should have already been enrolled in CTE courses to choose the option. CTE classes cover a lot of science content, especially health professions curricula, he said.

“We have a lot of students who will take the health care careers and the nursing aide type courses who are also enrolled in many other science courses at the same time…then we also have this small group who want to take the technology courses automotive, or welding and fabrication, and they want more practical skills for what they hope to do after they graduate from high school,” Scullion said.

The range of CTE courses offered locally has expanded significantly since the Copper Country Intermediate School District’s one-mile move in 2017.

Local businesses have reaped the rewards, including GS Engineering, where Treasurer Rob Fay works as project manager. Houghton senior Quinn Aho made a “absolutely phenomenal” supporting work, Fay said.

“It blows people away with what he can do for the two hours a day he is with us,” he said. “So it’s a great tool. I support him.

In other actions, the council:

≤ Heard by Hill, the district had received the results of a survey of spending priorities for the district’s Elementary-Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. The top five priorities were adding educational supports, providing additional staff for these supports, continued focus on technology, mental health services, and improving heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ). A focus group made up of parents, teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators will discuss possible projects.

≤ Heard by Hill, the district will remove COVID-19 reports from its website after spring break. The state dropped the COVID-19 reporting requirement last week. Contact tracing recommendations have changed; school settings are considered low intensity, while home settings are considered high intensity contact that would require quarantine.

≤ Elementary Principal Cole Klein spoke about the school’s National Reading Month activities, built around the theme of March Madness. Students had surpassed their goal of 280,000 minutes for March reading month activities; after two and a half weeks, students had read 326,000 minutes. Students will receive a basketball-themed award on Friday to close out the month. It will include Klein’s shaved beard.

≤ Heard by middle school principal Julie Filpus, the school’s MathCounts team had finished sixth in the state. The players finished individually between 31st and 83rd place among 700 students from across the state.

≤ Scullion has learned that students Orin Hubert and Elise Erva will be entering the national competition for America’s business professionals.

≤ Approved moving the next meeting to April 25th. The next scheduled meeting would have been during the Easter holidays.

≤ Approved the list of summer projects. Bond funds will be used for much of the work of approximately $275,000. It includes pool lighting, carpeting and painting. The district is seeking a grant from the Michigan State Police to upgrade exterior doors.

≤ Endorsed Lynn Mazzoleni as the Copper Country Middle School District Parent Advisory Committee Representative.

≤ Approved the purchase of a truck for the maintenance service.

≤ I went to the executive session to discuss the negotiations and the security plan. Houghton Police Chief John Donnelly helped prepare the plan, Hill said.



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